Press Release May 2015

Thursday, May 14th, 2015


2-4 OCTOBER, 2015 

Confirmed authors announced for the 2015 Marlborough LitFest include Alexander McCall Smith, Andrew O’Hagan, Adam Thorpe, John Crace and Jasper Fforde – joining award-winning novelist and poet Helen Dunmore, historical biographer and novelist Alison Weir and the broadcaster, arts critic, novelist and human rights journalist, Bidisha amongst others.

And, fresh from directing award-winning Hilary Mantel’s novels of Wolf Hall, BAFTA-award winning director and local Peter Kosminsky will be appearing in conversation with Channel 4 broadcaster Jon Snow, to talk about the screening of Wolf Hall.

The festival programme is being finalised but will feature the best in excellent writing – both fiction and non-fiction – as well as offering poetry events, creative writing workshops and children’s authors and events, all held in Marlborough over the weekend of 2-4 October, 2015.

Zimbabwe-born Alexander McCall Smith was originally a professor of Medical Law, moving into writing fiction full time after the worldwide success of his No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which sold over 20 million copies. He is also the author of short story collections, academic works and over 30 books for children; in 2007 he was awarded a CBE for service to literature.

Twice nominated for the Man Booker prize and voted one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2003, Scottish novelist and journalist Andrew O’Hagan is also an Editor at Large of Esquire and the London Review of Books. O’Hagan is best known for chronicling contemporary Britain and his latest, fifth, novel, The Illuminations, is based on war, memory and secrets.

The poet, novelist and playwright Adam Thorpe began his professional career as a mime artist and his published works also include short stories and radio dramas. He attended Marlborough College during the early 1970s and returned briefly as a tutor and English teacher. His 2014 book, On Silbury Hill concentrates on his relationship with the Neolithic Wiltshire mound during his time spent in Marlborough. It was Radio 4’s Book of the Week in August 2014.

Guardian journalist and novelist John Lanchester is the author of four novels and two non-fiction books, including Whoops!: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No-One Can Pay, about the global financial crisis. He has won the EM Forster Award, Whitbread First Novel Prize as well as being longlisted for the Booker Prize. One of his novels, Capital – about a single street in London – is currently being turned into a BBC drama.

Journalist and critic John Crace has a regular column in The Guardian as well as being the author of several non-fiction books, including The Digested Twenty-First Century. His latest is Never Promised You a Rose Garden: A Short Guide to Modern Politics, the Coalition and the General Election.

Jasper Fforde spent nearly 20 years in the film industry before trading it in for writing, publishing his first novel in 2001. His genre of Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Comedy/Crime has made him a bestselling author of The Last Dragonslayer series, the Nursery Crime books and the Thursday Next novels – which are set in a parallel Swindon in the 1980s. Jasper’s children attended St John’s Academy in Marlborough and he lived for a time in Great Bedwyn.

Other confirmed names include: historian Sean McGlyn who will be talking about Magna Carta; naturalist, author and original TV producer of BBC’s Springwatch, Stephen Moss; historical non-fiction author Matthew Dennison on the Life of Vita Sackville West; acclaimed translator Rosamund Bartlett on her new translation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina; China writer Alex Monro on The History of Paper and Calcutta-born novelist Neel Mukherjee.

LitFest Chair Jan Williamson, said: “We’re very excited about this year’s programme. There’s lots to interest everyone including history, biography, humour, poetry, politics, fantasy and prize-winning fiction. We’ve got some wonderful new writers as well as better known ones. We hope you’ll come and meet them later in the year.”

The Marlborough LitFest committee would like to thank our founder sponsor ALCS Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, lead sponsor Brewin Dolphin and events sponsors Hiscox Insurance, and Duncan Morris Solicitors for their continued support.